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Thoughts For Thursday: Calculator Watches, Button Fly Jeans, Fishing Poles, and More!

August 19, 2010 · 20 comments

in Thoughts For Thursday

I was reading an article on CNN that was discussing how college freshmen don’t think that watches are necessary anymore and I instantly flashed back to my 8th grade English and Social Studies class.

My teacher, who you could call eccentric, had just gotten a new watch.  However, it wasn’t just a watch, it was a calculator watch!  He spent a good 15 minutes demonstrating this giant watch/calculator, with his large fingers trying to manipulate the tiny numbers on the calculator portion of the watch.  He was so proud of his new contraption, and  I believe he did this demonstration for each of his 7 classes that day.  Actually, I still laugh when I think about the idea of a calculator watch.  Who really needs a calculator with them at all times?  Is it for figuring out tips at restaurants?  I don’t know, but the idea seemed ludicrous even when I was 13 years old, yet still people bought them.

After thinking about this calculator watch, I decided to ponder other ‘inventions’ that I feel the world could have done without.  Here are a few items off the top of my head:

Button fly jeans.  What was ever wrong with the plain old zipper?  Having to deal with a bunch of buttons just seems like a time-waster, and could also result in a frustrating situation in an emergency!  I have never really analyzed if button-fly jeans look better than zipper jeans.  I guess you don’t have to deal with the possibility of an open zipper, but I imagine that would be the only benefit.  Do the buttons every come unexpectedly undone?

Bumper Stickers.  I still don’t understand why people put very difficult to remove stickers on what is probably their second most valuable asset.  I will say that I do enjoy other people’s bumper stickers though.  My all time favorite:  “Life Ain’t Easy When You’re Fat and Greasy”.

Portable Fishing Rods.  I may be one of the few people that ever used the “Ronco Pocket Fisherman”.   Keep in mind, we had regular fishing poles, so I am not sure why we ever bought the Ronco model, which was also foldable.  (It is advertised as being able to be stored in the glove box of your car.  Who wants to store a dirty fishing pole in their glove box I wonder?)  Anyway, I was quite good at fishing, but I had the hardest time casting this thing.  I actually caught myself in the back 2 times with this rod, and never once with a normal fishing pole.  I hated the Pocket Fisherman.

Dustbusters.  I have bought several portable vacuums, but I have never had any luck getting them to actually suck anything up off the car floor, or any carpet for that matter.  The ones I bought could maybe suck up some spilled dry Captain Crunch cereal from a table or something, but I would rather just sweep the cereal into my hand.

Do you disagree with my assessment of any of the products listed above?  Is there any product out there that you think never should have been invented?  (Besides cigarettes, of course.)

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole August 19, 2010 at 9:57 am

DH has a calculator watch. It comes in handy! Especially as a toy for a bored toddler. They’re actually very cheap these days and I think it goes well with his image, along with the Leatherman on his belt…


Kris August 19, 2010 at 10:15 am

Nicole – I hope I did not offend with my calculator watch comments! It just seems like those little buttons would be too hard to navigate with adult-size fingers!


Budgeting in the Fun Stuff August 19, 2010 at 12:10 pm

No offense taken at all, but my dad has had a calculator watch for as long as I’ve known him (step-dad)…that’s at least 21 years. It comes in handy for him for home improvement projects and all the stuff he did as an engineer. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen him work out a calc in a few seconds. I don’t know how it works so well since he has huge hands, but he has had years of practice. He also has a pen and small notebook-type pad with him at all times (it’s where he sketches out the projects themselves and makes his Home Depot lists).

I will agree with absolutely everything else on that list. I definitely would not want a fishing rod in my glovebox and button fly jeans would suck for me.


Kris August 19, 2010 at 3:37 pm

BFS – I can definitely see where a handy person could use a calculator watch, but the buttons still seem like they would be small!

I guess I won’t be buying you the Ronco Pocket Fisherman for the holidays…


Budgeting in the Fun Stuff August 19, 2010 at 4:37 pm

No, and I don’t want anything you Freeganized either…


Barb Friedberg August 19, 2010 at 3:17 pm

OMG I hate dustbusters (and rechargable screw drivers). Is it just me or do those things NEVER CHARGE BACK UP?
Actually, I would like a calculator watch.. I’m a bit neurotic, numbers oriented and always like to have a calculator close by 🙂 . I love tips of all sorts and the title of your blog is great.


Kris August 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Barb – I am seeing that my view on calculator watches is not shared by readers! I guess that is why they exist, not all consumers are like me.

Thanks for the visit!


Steph August 19, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I have a DirtDevil and it works wonderfully. I only have one rug so it makes no sense to have a full size vacuum. I had a Dustbusters in college and I hated they thing. Didn’t work worth crap.
I must admit I love button fly jeans, but only because I have issues with the zipper sliding down. Any brand, any style, the zipper slides down. My body must be weird.

What on earth is a rechargeable screw driver?


Kris August 19, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Steph – Dustbusters are so useless! Also, thank you for answering about button-fly jeans. They seem like such a hassle, but I guess if you have zipper problems, then they are worth it.


Budgeting in the Fun Stuff August 19, 2010 at 4:41 pm

A rechargeable screw driver is a powered screw driver that you can plug in when it runs down. In case you haven’t heard of powered screw drivers, they are AWESOME and save the palm of your hand from blistering…the top spins with whatever screw driver attachment you are using so you don’t have to twist the screws into place yourself.

We had one and it indeed sucked. Now we have a battery powered screw driver that we can just replace the AA’s when it gets low – each set of batteries seems to last about a year for us. Powered screw drivers kick butt.


Squirrelers.com August 19, 2010 at 6:31 pm

I agree with all, except maybe bumper stickers. Now, I wouldn’t put one on my car. Not my style at all. That said, I have seen some entertaining ones.

You know those ubiquitous bumper stickers that say something along the lines of “My kid is an honor student at xyz school”? I saw one that said “my c-student kid beat up your honor roll kid”. The people driving the car looked pretty rough. Anyway, while I don’t condone bad behavior, I find such bumper stickers a view into the mindset of the car owner. Interesting, if nothing else!


Kris August 21, 2010 at 10:51 am

Squirreler – Oh I love bumper stickers for other people, I just wouldn’t ruin my own car with one! Gives me something to do at long red lights!


Money Reasons August 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I hate the rocket fishing pole! That is the lames fishing idea ever! My son like it, but he can cast much farther than that stupid rocket fishing pole can send the line. And the boober on the rocket fishing pole… what a joke!

As for watches, I don’t use one… Either calculator or regular watch. My blackberry does all the calcs that I need in emergency situations (so far I’ve used it 0 times)!!! I do like the games and alarm setting function of my cell phone though! Yep, I think smart phones are going to make watches obsolete…

Again, another post that made me chuckle… Nice job 🙂


Kris August 21, 2010 at 10:51 am

Money Reasons – thanks for the comment. I don’t know how your son casts so far with the pole. I had better luck at catching myself than catching fish, that is for sure!


Andrew Hallam August 19, 2010 at 11:35 pm

When I was 12 years old, I got something caught in my zipper. Those little “breather” holes in my underwear, coupled with a hasty pull contributed to one of my more traumatic childhood experiences. Button Fly jeans? Who am I do dis them?


Kris August 21, 2010 at 10:50 am

Andrew – Button fly jeans must have been specifically designed for you. (And for Ben Stiller from ‘Something About Mary’).

Thanks for the visit!


finallygettingtoeven.com August 20, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Oh my goodness, all one has to do is walk up and down the aisles of ANY store (lets start with WalMart) and they will find more useless environment sucking devices than thought possible.
Great post!


Kris August 21, 2010 at 10:33 am

Finally- it is amazing what people will spend money on, just out of curiosity, or just to spend. Thanks for visiting!


spy watches December 8, 2010 at 1:59 am

Calculator watches are eighties retro classics! Theyre also great for calculating how much tip to leave at the restaurant as well as other useful things!


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